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StarsCASSiOPEiA
08-14-2009, 06:16 AM
Hello there everyone!

My next cosplay is Suki from Avatar: The Last Airbender, and I was having trouble determining how to do her armor.

As you can see from the reference pics, the armor is more like a padding than a traditional metal armor or shielding. It almost makes me think of umpire gear, in terms of materials.

The question is, what material(s) should I use to construct this? Cardboard and wonderflex seem too hard/stiff to make the sort of "ripples"/sections in the gear, and I'd prefer to avoid just painting lines on something flat.

Is there a fabric stiff enough to ripple/section like that and not sag (if I put padding/stuffing under every ripple)? Or is there a better material that would still look as smooth and be light but still look like it'd be armor suitable for battle (foam, perhaps)?

Thanks in advance!

References: http://tvmedia.ign.com/tv/image/article/849/849589/avatarsuki_1202229592.jpg

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_udWlKsgbKY8/SIkI5m3lowI/AAAAAAAAAPg/R_5vOSPjIpY/s400/29+The+Harem+Begins.JPG

I LURV
08-14-2009, 08:15 AM
You have the option of sewing separate strips or using two vest sides.

You need to use stuffing (not interfacing), and you can use more durable stuffing for couches if you want some durability to it. You need to stitch horizontal 'slit pouches' and put the stuffing in there so when you close the seams up on the sides it all comes together nicely.

StarsCASSiOPEiA
08-14-2009, 08:38 AM
Couch foam stuffing, yes. That's what I'd been thinking too. I'd been pondering stitching slits as well (then doing the edges).

So, that would be a reasonable way to make this work? Thank you very much!

nyokun
08-14-2009, 12:57 PM
umm. I don't think her armor is stuffed at all. In fact, I think it's modled after samurai armor. It's just slats of bamboo/wood tied together like scale maile almost if I recall.

FE Freak
08-14-2009, 01:12 PM
I see it as more like kendo armor. I believe the only character who had the hard, bamboo-like armor was Jet. Seen here in this pic, he's wearing the "kendo" armor on the left and the plated,tiered, hard armor on the right.Left and Right armor (http://i497.photobucket.com/albums/rr333/KunaiKrazy/Jet/006.jpg)

StarsCASSiOPEiA
08-14-2009, 05:40 PM
I see it as more like kendo armor. I believe the only character who had the hard, bamboo-like armor was Jet. Seen here in this pic, he's wearing the "kendo" armor on the left and the plated,tiered, hard armor on the right.Left and Right armor (http://i497.photobucket.com/albums/rr333/KunaiKrazy/Jet/006.jpg)

Kendo armor makes the most sense, really, considering the origin of the Kyoshi Warriors.

The question is, how to make it...? Or where could I get something close enough to modify cheap?

nyokun
08-14-2009, 10:25 PM
Your cheapest, and best, bet is maybe doing paper mache panels, scaling them together. if you want them to look like leather, you could get some cheap viny or something.

I LURV
08-14-2009, 11:21 PM
I personally would not use any 'hard' materials for this besides cuirass-usable leather (ie. leather that's been beeswaxed to strengthen it). Paper mache is meant for rock-hard armor. Kendo, while stiff it has bounciness to it to repel impacts.

http://www.voicesofthesword.com/bugu/HPIM0775.JPG

Think of a bullet proof vest, its not made out of metal.

FE Freak
08-14-2009, 11:26 PM
For the top part->Anbu Vest Tutorial (http://cristophine.deviantart.com/art/Anbu-Vest-Tutorial-41838257)+trim.If there is a faster way to make that kind of lined armor, please someone direct me to it. But, what I've done before is actually [if this is going to be fabric] is mark on your fabric where and how spaced you want your lines and then go over it with black stitching.[You can tell that will take a while,huh?]Voila! Lines. You can make the skirt padding the same way. Hope it helps,even a little.

StarsCASSiOPEiA
08-15-2009, 05:32 AM
Thank you for the tutorial, FE Freak! That might be what I end up doing, I know I have most of those materials already (with the exception of the actual fabric itself). It's probably cheaper than buying traditional armor materials too. And I definitely agree with you, I LURV, on the use of only (potentially) strengthened leather.

Thank you!

jounink
08-15-2009, 07:06 AM
umm. I don't think her armor is stuffed at all. In fact, I think it's modled after samurai armor. It's just slats of bamboo/wood tied together like scale maile almost if I recall.

^ agreed.

might i suggest the use of craft foam (you could cover it in fabric if need be). you can make almost anything with that stuff. Its what i mainly used for my Fran leatherette armor and some naruto accsessories.

StarsCASSiOPEiA
08-17-2009, 05:15 AM
I took a look at the cosplay you mentioned, and craft foam also seems like a viable option. Thanks!

What tools do you generally need for working with craft foam? Just a little hand-held X-acto knife or something of the sort? (And is it relatively smooth after you cut it?)

jounink
08-17-2009, 11:14 AM
The stuff cuts really smooth, but you need a steady hand and dont try to cut really fast (x-acto knife) I used scissors, x-acto knife and to seal it I used a heat gun. You have to seal the foam if you intend to paint it otherwise it will just soak up paint like a sponge. You can also used a glue mixture.
http://www.entropyhouse.com/penwiper/costumes/helmsdeep.html

Celyddon
08-17-2009, 12:48 PM
Agreed on the craft foam. If you want to shape it, you can use a heat gun; cutting is rather simple with sharp scissors and exacto knives. To make it hard, you can coat it in several layers of Mod Podge. I've made all of my armor (ever) out of craft foam, and the stuff can take a decent beating.